OPEC Rises Above Global Oil Media Speculation – OpEd


By Faisal Faeq*

Despite media rumors to the contrary, last week’s OPEC+ meeting ended with full consensus showing the world that the organization continues to be defined more by shared goals than differences.

In advance of the gathering, some global oil media outlets had peddled negative speculation about the possible outcome, but OPEC and OPEC+ producers came out victorious.

Member states agreed to gradually increase production based on a monthly review and monitoring of market conditions and recovery in demand for oil.

The unanimous consensus from the 23 producers somewhat deviated from the strategy agreed to in April, but the group remained consistent in its commitment to adjust output in line with changing market needs.

Media claims of a dispute between OPEC members which was reportedly threatening to destroy the historic accord in the midst of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and resulting fragile global economic situation, came to nothing.

The fears spread by the oil media only served to stir up more uncertainty in an already nervous sector. A number alleged that some energy officials had intended to withdraw from OPEC in the event of an output cuts extension.

There were suggestions that some of the media speculation may have been driven by trading companies hoping to generate revenues on futures markets by sowing unrest.

The OPEC+ output cuts agreement reached in April was a medium-term strategy aimed at balancing global oil markets and stabilizing the world economy and was a triumph of diplomacy in securing the compliance of oil producers all with different circumstances and agendas.

Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman said: “If that (holding monthly meetings) may cause more (price) fluctuations, I would not have agreed to such a decision.

“The market understands that we do not gamble with decisions that extend for three months. On the contrary, there is satisfaction in the markets that we control what the market needs.”

• Faisal Faeq is an energy and oil marketing adviser. He was formerly with OPEC and Saudi Aramco. Twitter:@faisalfaeq

Arab News

Arab News is Saudi Arabia's first English-language newspaper. It was founded in 1975 by Hisham and Mohammed Ali Hafiz. Today, it is one of 29 publications produced by Saudi Research & Publishing Company (SRPC), a subsidiary of Saudi Research & Marketing Group (SRMG).

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